Prognostic value of epidermal growth factor receptor expression in operable non-small cell lung carcinoma
Background and aim: Increased expression of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), supporting the tumor growth by a possible endocrine mechanism, affects patient survival negatively. We designed a study to test EGFR expression by immunohisto- chemistry (IHC) in resected stage I–II NSCLC and to correlate its overexpression with survival.
Methods: EGFR expression was evaluated in 98 consecutive NSCLC patients after complete resection (53 squamous cell carcinomas, 40 adenocarcinomas, 5 large cell carcinomas: stage I, 57 (58%) and stage II, 41 (42%). IHC was used to examine the expression of EGFR in resected lung tumor sam- ples obtained from these patients, who had no pre- or post- operative chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed for factors influencing patient survival.
Results: EGFR was expressed in 51 (52%) of 98 NSCLC sam- ples. More squamous tumors (61%) were EGFR-positive than adenocarcinomas (38%) (p = 0.038). There was a statistically significant correlation between EGFR expression and stage (p = 0.04). No difference was found between EGFR positive and negative tumors in the 5-year overall survival (57% vs. 73%, p = 0.13).
Conclusion: The level of EGFR expression in tumors was not a successful predictor of survival in resected NSCLC.
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